Mid-week Message from Fr. Gerard - December 23, 2020

Video of Fr. Gerard celebrating Christmas Mass https://www.ourladyofrefuge.org  From the homepage, select the Video icon

Christmas Vigil Mass: Thursday, December 24 at 4 P.M.

Christmas Day Masses: Friday, December 25 at 8 A.M. and 10 A.M.


Covid-19 reminder from the Archdiocese: If you participated in a multi-household gathering, out of consideration for others in the parish, please attend virtual Mass.




Counting our blessings!


As we near the celebration of Christ's birth, I am reminded of how good our God is. God, out of deep and abiding love for us, took on human form to show us how to live and how to love. The parishioners of OLR also reveal God's love in the many ways you so willingly share your time and talent when called upon. This year especially, with so many restrictions, has been challenging but our parish staff, our Baptism team, our Ministry groups, our musicians, our school, our catechists, and our stellar sanitizing and outdoor chapel set-up crew (including our videographers and sound team) have been willing to step in and lend a helping hand. Getting to know you and your family's stories has been both a privilege and a blessing for me. Serving in leadership with our amazing pastor, Fr. Gerard, and the talented Mr. Green has been a delightful collaborative effort.  And Fr. Bill is always eager to help! The Religious Education team (catechists and staff) wish you a joyous and safe Christmas. We look forward with hope to 2021.


God bless you! 

Shirl Giacomi, Director of Religious Education  


* * * * *

Happy Advent and Merry Christmas!


I wish a Holy and Blessed Christmas and Peaceful New Year to the entire Our Lady of Refuge Parish Community. May the Love, Joy and Peace of Baby Jesus be in your hearts and your homes. “The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him…” (John 1:9-10)


Thank you, every one, for being the living light of Jesus in our communities. While our school cannot join you all in the celebration of the Mass like we have in the past, please know we can feel and see the Good News being spread virtually. Thank you for your continued love, support, and prayers for the school community. As we enter the new year, please be assured of the school’s prayers and support.  I look forward to what lies ahead for our communities in 2021! May God continue to bless you all this new year.



Mr. Green 

Interim Principal, Our Lady of Refuge School


* * * * *

Merry Christmas Parishioners,


All of us have memories of past Christmas traditions but this year’s will be the most unique in our lifetimes. Many people will be staying at home rather than being with families; others will gather. With Covid once again on the rise and hospitals jam packed, taking extra precautions is of outmost importance.


All our Christmases have one thing in common, whether in the church or outdoors -- Jesus is the center, the priority of the season; Jesus, our hope and strength in the midst of uncertainty.


Let us all make this Christmas the most special whether alone or in company. God is with us and will take care of us.


It is with sadness I want to inform you Bernie Raab, the only son of our esteemed parishioner Johanna Raab, passed to the Lord Monday night at 11 P.M. Johanna was informed on Tuesday morning at 9 A.M. Bernie had health issues with a toe infection for a few months and was progressing OK until he tested positive for Covid 2 weeks ago. Let us all pray for Johanna this Christmas, her first alone for many years. May the Baby Jesus comfort her in her great loss, and may Jesus welcome home Bernie into eternal life. Johanna has two grandchildren and her three living siblings are all in Germany.


Unfortunately, our church was burglarized on Monday evening. I noticed a side door with its window smashed; inside the vestibule there was broken glass everywhere. They entered the old baptismal room by smashing the glass and stole the convent tabernacle, but left its dome and cross on the ground. The burglars viewed the metal of the tabernacle as scrap metal value. Then they tried the same at our big tabernacle, but it is secured so well they could not damage it, only leaving fingerprints for the detectives to lift. Please pray for our beautiful church and the Good Lord’s protection on HIS birthday.


Please welcome to OLR our new cantor, Ms. Erin Thomkins. I met Erin at St. Anselm’s during my 8 weeks there before arriving here at OLR.


On behalf of Fr. Bill and myself, I want to wish all of you Happy Christmas. Open your door and heart to the Christ Child Who will gift you lasting  peace.



Fr. Gerard


Christmas Masses on EWTN Here are some opportunities to celebrate Christmas Mass safely at home.

Solemn Mass of Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24: 10:30 A.M. (encore on Friday at 1 A.M.) with Pope Francis from St. Peter’s Basilica; 7:30 P.M. from the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C; 10 P.M. Midnight Mass from the Holy Land

Solemn Mass of Christmas Day, Friday, December 25: 5 A.M. (encore at 3:30 P.M.) from Our Lady of Angels Chapel, Alabama; 9 A.M. (encore at 9 P.M.) from the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.

NBC Channel 4: Midnight Mass from St. Peter’s Basilica, Thursday, December 24 at 11:34 P.M.


Urbi et Orbi – Pope Francis’s Christmas blessing and message to the world on December 25 at 3 A.M. (encores at 12 P.M. and 7 P.M.) on EWTN (Charter Spectrum Channel 165, Direct TV Channel 370, Frontier Channel 285). The Roman Catholic Church grants a plenary indulgence by the willful grace and intent of the Pope, on the usual conditions, to those who "devoutly receive" the blessing that the Pope imparts Urbi et Orbi. For any ordinary plenary indulgence, the "usual conditions" are: (1) Reception of sacramental confession through a Catholic priest within 20 days (before or after) of performing the specific work; (2) Reception of Eucharistic communion within 20 days (before or after) of performing the specific work; (3) Prayers for the intentions of the Pope designated for that particular month or occasion, usually at the same time the work is performed, though recitation some days before or after also suffices. (from Wikipedia)